•  244
    Is Belief a Propositional Attitude?
    Philosophers' Imprint 12. 2012.
    According to proponents of the face-value account, a beliefreport of the form ‘S believes that p’ is true just in case the agentbelieves a proposition referred to by the that-clause. As againstthis familiar view, I argue that there are cases of true beliefreports of the relevant form in which there is no proposition that thethat-clause, or the speaker using the that-clause, can plausibly betaken as referring to. Moreover, I argue that given the distinctiveway in which the face-value theory of be…Read more
  •  233
    A common objection to Russell's theory of descriptions concerns incomplete definite descriptions: uses of (for example) ‘the book is overdue’ in contexts where there is clearly more than one book. Many contemporary Russellians hold that such utterances will invariably convey a contextually determined complete proposition, for example, that the book in your briefcase is overdue. But according to the objection this gets things wrong: typically, when a speaker utters such a sentence, no facts about…Read more
  •  160
    Reference, Understanding, and Communication
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1): 1-16. 2013.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that, even in the simplest of cases, such as an utterance of (1): ‘He is a stockbroker’, a speaker's audience might misunderstand her utterance even if they correctly identify the referent of the relevant singular term, and understand what is being predicated of it. Numerous theorists, including Bezuidenhout [1997], Heck [1995], Paul [1999], and Récanati [1993, 1995], have used Loar's observation to argue against direct reference accounts of assertoric content and comm…Read more
  •  157
    Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5): 720-740. 2013.
    (2013). Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 720-740
  •  140
    Content Pluralism
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    How fine-grained are the contents of our beliefs and other cognitive attitudes? Are the contents of our beliefs individuated solely in terms of the objects, properties, and relations that figure in their truth conditions, or rather in terms of our concepts, or modes of presentation of those objects, properties, and relations? So-called Millians famously maintain the former whereas their Fregean rivals hold the latter. Though much ink was spilled on the question of grain, relatively little was ev…Read more
  •  135
    Meaning, Expression, and Evidence
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2): 152-157. 2012.
    Grice's (1957) analysis of non-natural meaning generated a huge industry, where new analyses were put forward to respond to successively more complex counterexamples. Davis (2003) offers a novel and refreshingly simple analysis of meaning in terms of the expression of belief, where (roughly) an agent expresses the belief that p just in case she performs a publicly observable action with the intention that it be an indication that she occurrently believes that p. I argue that Davis's analysis fai…Read more
  •  115
    Pragmatic Particularism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    For the Intentionalist, utterance content is wholly determined by a speaker’s meaning-intentions; the sentence uttered serves merely to facilitate the audience’s recovering these intentions. We argue that Intentionalists ought to be Particularists, holding that the only “principles” of meaning recovery needed are those governing inferences to the best explanation; “principles” that are both defeasible and, in a sense to be elaborated, variable. We discuss some ways in which some theorists have …Read more
  •  106
    Are truth and reference quasi-disquotational?
    Philosophical Studies 113 (1). 2003.
    In a number of influential papers, Hartry Fieldhas advanced an account of truth and referencethat we might dub quasi-disquotationalism. According to quasi-disquotationalism, truth and reference are to be explained in terms of disquotationand facts about what constitute a goodtranslation into our language. Field suggeststhat we might view quasi-disquotationalism aseither an analysis of our ordinarytruth-theoretic concepts of reference andtruth, or an account of certain otherconcepts that improve …Read more
  •  92
    Intention and the Basis of Meaning
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5. 2018.
  •  72
    Names, Descriptions, and Assertion
    In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action, Springer. pp. 03-15. 2014.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism go…Read more
  •  71
    Propositions as Objects of the Attitudes
    In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions, Routledge. forthcoming.
    Propositions are the things we believe, intend, desire, and so on, but discussions are often less precise than they could be and an important driver of this deficiency has been a focus on the objects but a neglect of the attitudinal relations we bear to them. In what follows, we will offer some thoughts on what it means for a proposition to be the object of an attitude and we will argue that an important part of the story lies with the attitude relations rather than the propositions. As we will …Read more
  •  12
    Schiffer's Puzzle: A Kind of Fregean Response
    In Gary Ostertag (ed.), Meanings and Other Things, Oxford University Press. 2016.
    In ‘What Reference Has to Tell Us about Meaning’, Stephen Schiffer argues that many of the objects of our beliefs, and the contents of our assertoric speech acts, have what he calls the relativity feature. A proposition has the relativity feature just in case it is an object-dependent proposition ‘the entertainment of which requires different people, or the same person at different times or places, to think of [the relevant object] in different ways’ (129). But as no Fregean or Russellian pro…Read more